Father's Day: How can dads be supportive of their partners during the pandemic?

Working mothers have had to balance both work and household chores simultaneously, which has added to their overall workload during the pandemic. If you are a dad with a work-from-home partner, here are a couple of things you can do to step up your game.
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The Covid-19 induced lockdowns have forced us into a kind of involuntary domesticity. At first, it was chaos, followed by coziness, and later imprisonment.

As we step into our second year of fighting the virus, let’s throw some light on all the working parents, who alongside their partners are juggling work, home, and kids. Life has been an emotional roller coaster ride with all these multitudes of responsibilities that an individual is vested with.

In our report, ‘Demystifying Her Pre versus Post-COVID-19 Behaviour’, which was conducted recently to understand the deeper impact of the pandemic on moms across personal, purchasing, and behaviour patterns, we have observed that one of the major contributing factors to the increase in women's workload post COVID-19 turned out to be their occupational status.

Working mothers have to now balance both work and household chores simultaneously, which have added to their overall workload.

In most instances, the moms were either the only contributor to the household chores or the major contributor, with 19 percent moms in our survey citing more or better contribution from the husbands post Covid 19. This small and yet significant change can push more towards gender equality as well as equal parenting in the current setup.

We have seen and heard new dads cradling babies while on zoom calls, fixing breakfasts, helping children during their online classes, and more. This and more such efforts need to be made to normalise the role of fathers as “caregivers” rather than just “providers”.

A Harvard study on Gender, Work & Organization, confirms that in families where fathers do a greater share of childcare, it is likely to alleviate mothers’ burden and protect their careers. If you are a dad with a work from home partner, here are a couple of things you can do to step up your game.

Communicate with your partner

Find time to talk to each other. It is easy to get bogged down in work, chores, and children. Plan at least one meal together when you can talk about your day, struggles, or simply share how you are feeling. It is important to get a pulse on how your partner is feeling to gauge the overall physical and mental well-being.

Differences of opinion between two people are natural. If you notice annoyance or anger, label the emotions without giving into outright criticism. Steer from conversations that would lead to “you are right” to “that is right”.

Plan and synchronise your work schedule

Work-home boundaries are currently murky and working from home can easily become a temporal quicksand. This means ensuring there is a hard-stop to office work and making way for family time. Communicate with people you work with to help them understand your availability. Not everything is in crisis, all the time.

Be in-charge while your partner relaxes

Women make up a huge part of the workforce these days and have to deal with the double burden of managing the household and children along with their professional lives.

As a dad, chip in more -- be it meal planning, cooking, cleaning, or helping the kids with homework. Don’t wait for your partner to ask you to do things. If you see laundry getting piled up, you know what to do with it.

Take care of your mental and physical well-being

As a parent, you are someone your children look up to and your partner relies on. We are yet to scope out the trauma the ongoing health crisis has left on our individual and collective psyche. If you are exhausted or overwhelmed, do not hesitate to get help. Be there for your partner if they need help coping with stress and the challenges of working from home.

With all the aforementioned points taken into consideration, this can help develop the understanding between partners in trying times like this, bridge the unnecessary voids in relations, and enable growing mutual respect for one another. This only assures and reaffirms the fact that the relation is in a good and breathable space with both the partners supporting each other’s work.

Edited by Megha Reddy

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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